What is an Author’s Main Responsibility?

I have a question for you: What is an author’s main responsibility?

321607_527830107262965_942105055_nThe Canadian poet and environmental activist Margaret Atwood wrote that acknowledging social and political issues is an author’s greatest responsibility. E. B. White said, “A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter.” He added that authors have a responsibility to society to “be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error (and to) lift people up, not lower them down.” And William Faulkner said in an interview with the Paris Review, “A writer’s only responsibility is to his art.”

Here are other writers’ ideas:

An author’s main responsibility is:

  • to be responsible for the environment he/she works within
  • to provoke
  • to show
  • to provide perspective
  • to practice
  • to improve
  • to polish
  • to remain dedicated
  • to be true to his/her values and beliefs

And my own opinion:

I believe that before an author can write, and write well, their prime responsibility is to their creative potential. Knowing and polishing the craft of writing is key to achieving maximum creative potential, and taking responsibility for achieving potential requires an author to center their attention on writing without allowing distractions to get in the way.

Now, it’s your turn:

In your opinion, what do you believe is an author’s main responsibility?

Add your comment.


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Filed under Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writer's responsibility

2 responses to “What is an Author’s Main Responsibility?

  1. An author’s main responsibility is to reflect the heart of God. If I write contrary to my Creator’s Word, I’m not being a good steward of the gift He’s placed within me.

  2. What a sterling question, Jean! I believe my main responsibility is to reflect God’s heart and my voice as accurately as possible. But I try to do that with as much humor as I can muster– I love to create ripples of laughter in the world!

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